If you're living with diabetes or know someone who is, you understand all that it entails — collecting diabetes information, negotiating with the healthcare system, keeping family and friends informed of the disease, juggling work and health and even dealing with insurance claims. All this makes you the perfect advocate for diabetes care. India has a significant number of citizens with type 2 diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. The country has of late witnessed the emergence of healthcare players dedicated solely to diabetes management, notes ETHealthworld.com. Undoubtedly then, creating a good plan to manage diabetes includes teams of healthcare experts. The team may consist of a diabetologist, physician, diabetes educator, an eye doctor, a dietitian, a foot doctor and other specialists. However, the most important member of your diabetes management team is you. You're the one who can take charge and implement change at the deepest level. That's why you are the best advocate for your diabetes care and management. Here's how you can stay a step ahead of the disease even as you live life king-size: Get The Facts Right Knowledge is key, especially when it concerns your health. Therefore, effective diabetes care means understanding your condition thoroughly. From glucose monitoring and embracing dietary changes, to studying clinical results and asking questions about things you didn't know about diabetes management, empower yourself with knowledge so you can be your best advocate. Involve Your Healthcare Team You healthcare team has years of experience in this area so rope them in to help you stay informed. If it's tough keeping on top of the latest news regarding diabetes, your doctors will play an active role in enabling you to manage your disease. Share your concerns, struggles and successes so your team can customise a plan for your needs. Seek Emotional Help Dealing with any disease can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Remember, you're not alone. Draw your family and friends close, keep them informed of your condition and progress, practice meditation to clear your thoughts and try blogging or keeping a journal. These methods are therapeutic and can nourish your mind when you get overwhelmed caring for your body. Maintain Records Tracking glucose levels and understanding their patterns often helps unlock a successful care regimen for diabetes. Consistent monitoring coupled with following the medication regimen precribed by your doctor will go a long way toward helping you measure improvements over time. It'll also help you understand what works for you best. You can give your healthcare team a better idea of your condition by keeping a personal record of glucose levels and sharing it with them. Diabetes might be one of the most common diseases affecting the Indian population, but it is also one of the most manageable. Keep learning, monitor your progress and speak up for yourself. Be an active participant in your diabetes care and live a happy and healthful life. Disclaimer: This publication/article/editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.